Why Ulster Rugby is losing Support. It is paying for a series of Ethical decisions & A lack of Innovation in Leadership, Marketing & Development Levels

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1) All of this is driven by the culture and ethos of the SNR Leadership of Ulster Rugby.
2) Birds of a feather are drawn together, we are all drawn to those who share similar ideals.
3) Innovation, collaboration and education are the hallmarks of an open modern organisation/society.
4) Concentration of ideas/power into a small group of minds leaves the wider group in a vulnerable position.
5) Consensus and agreement based on discussion are key aspects of motivation.
6) We sow the seeds of our own undoing.

Ulster has experienced a high performance mind set for about 1.5 years it ended with McLaughlin. Hence the incredible results and togetherness.
Leinster has won that “war”, and from the point of view of development of rugby it is better for Irish Rugby that Leinster won because it is not good for the development of Irish Rugby for a team (Ulster) dominated by foreign talent to beat a team dominated by local talent (Leinster).

The thought leaders in Ulster cannot support a foreign Ulster side beating an Irish side, we think the players know this.

Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht should all be development organisations. A development mindset is the most honourable way to win a
game, a league or silverware. Doing it the Toulon way is not what this country is about.

This country is about good rugby, financial stability and growth, good mental health, training hard, working hard, absorbing information,
developing our rugby, being innovative in that development and reaching excellence in all aspects of the game.

The leadership of Ulster rugby at the SNR levels has failed to innovate and evolve for about 2 years. Lets take this on departmental level.

1) Marketing – no steps have been taken to change the marketing model over the past 2 years. The same marketing that happened 2 years ago is happening today “Show us your Support” and maybe this should stay the same, but crucially no innovative marketing has appeared. For example, live streaming, changing the focus of our interviews, no live stream has appeared on the part of Ulster Rugby, (they were offered outside assistance to do this). Instead what we have are ego based interviews that frankly it is obvious that players are puzzled by where the interviewer is coming from? We are not saying that if we live stream we will win the pro12, what we are saying is that these are signs of the ethos inside the organisation.

2) SNR Leadership – At the end of last season Ulster Rugby released 12 players from the squad and Academy, players who had been developed and nurtured for a number of years, players who had already returned on a number of occasions from being away, this has left our Academy and squad badly depleted, and has affected the motivation of local players. The academy has been expanded this season but only in reaction to out cry, therefore its reactionary and not driven by a development vision.

Marketing and interaction with the media is all really that anyone outside can use to formulate an opinion about an organisation, that is one reason
why marketing is so important, but we cannot point to a single piece of innovative marketing in the past 2 years. No live streaming is the prime
example. Lack of marketing innovation is fundamental and tells you the leadership ethos inside the organisation.

Leadership is what drives an organisation. The leadership style of Ulster rugby is autocratic and bureaucratic, rules and procedures based. Evolution has not occurred in this area, if anything in the past 12 months it has retrenched into an even more autocratic and rules/procedures based model.

Education is paramount. No single Ulster Rugby official ever mentions the words Academy or Development. Instead the mindset is Rule, Elite, Dominate, Win, and sign overseas talent. Local people are not inspired by this.

Rugby in Ulster right now at branch and provincial level is a job. This is the result of an asset strippers mentality over the past few years that has driven the players, the staff and entire population to exhaustion.

Virtually no one signed up for this.

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